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The University of Toronto Human Powered Ornithopter Team

Todd Reichert


Todd is entering the third year of his PhD at UTIAS, researching optimal kinematic strategies for flapping-wing propulsion. In addition to his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto, Todd completed a minor in Cinema Studies and served as the president of the Engineering Society in 2004-2005. Todd has also worked at the National Research Council’s Institute for Aerospace Research for several summers and has been a volunteer with the engine-powered ornithopter since 2004.

Cameron Robertson


Cameron is beginning his M.A.Sc. at UTIAS, having recently completed his B.A.Sc. at University of Toronto in the Engineering Science program, Aerospace option. Having become a volunteer with the engine-powered ornithopter during his third year, Cameron conducted research in the summer of 2007 on the HPO in the Subsonic Aerodynamics Lab at UTIAS under Dr. DeLaurier. Cameron’s primary interests are in advanced composites, ultralight structures, and their fabrication methods.

Carson Dueck


Carson joined the team last June, coming all the way from Vancouver to be a part of the project! He was going into grade 11 when he joined the team in 2009 and was already looking for Universities where he can expand on his love of flight and passion for engineering. Carson has been an avid ornithopter enthusiast for several years, building and flying small model ornithopters of his own design and testing different configurations in the wind tunnel he built in his basement.

Robert Dueck


Robert has a B.Sc. and specializes in industrial processing with a particular focus on custom production, installation and testing of world class private yachts. He thrives in a team environment on fast paced projects with rigorous testing. At the team's request he joined in summer 2009 during a production critical phase bringing his yacht-based techniques to fruition for the ornithopter.

Professor James DeLaurier


Dr. DeLaurier graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1970. His research and industry experience includes time at McDonnel Aircraft, NASA Ames Research Center, and Battelle Memorial Institute. Dr. DeLaurier’s focus has been on lighter-than-air and mechanical flapping-wing aircraft. A remotely-piloted proof-of-concept ornithopter designed by Dr. DeLaurier and Jeremy Harris (a research associate) flew successfully in 1991, and their full-scale engine-powered ornithopter was the first to achieve fight on July 8th, 2006.

Tom Veitch


Tom is working on his M.A.Sc. at UTIAS, having completed his B.A.Sc. at University of Toronto in the Engineering Science program, Aerospace option. After volunteering in third year on the engine-powered ornithopter, Thomas conducted summer research on the HPO in the Subsonic Aerodynamics Lab at UTIAS under Dr. DeLaurier. Tom has been a team leader in aerodynamics and has been instrumental in developing a vortex-panel code used in wing design. Tom finds the interactions between aircraft structures and aerodynamic forces particularly interesting.

David Godri


David Godri joined the HPO in May 2009 as part of it's summer internship program. He currently is a third-year civil engineering student whose interests are in renewable energy. He is the founder of Solar and Wind Initiatives Towards Change (SWITCH), a non-profit, youth-driven organization determined in making positive global environmental change. David brings relentless enthusiam and energy to the team, and a knack for picking things up quickly.

Dennis Trips


Dennis is a student at T.U. Delft (Netherlands) who has started his thesis on aerodynamic 3D wing optimizations. In the 2007-2008 academic year, Dennis worked on an airfoil optimizer for the HPO team which lead to the current airfoil design for the main wing. The challenge was to design a robust wing for unsteady flow. Dennis also enjoys aircraft design, scuba diving, wood carving, and traveling.

Bruce Fenton


Bruce graduated University of Toronto with a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1996, and with an M.A.Sc. (again from U of T) in Aerospace Engineering in 1999. Bruce has worked on the engine-powered ornithopter for 10 years, with 2 of those years as chief engineer. Bruce has also been involved in several lighter-than-air projects, and has extensive experience in experimental work.

Patrick Zdunich


Patrick graduated with a B.A.Sc. from University of Alberta in 1999, and completed his M.A.Sc. at UTIAS in 2002 under Dr. DeLaurier developing a flapping-wing Micro Air Vehicle. Following his masters, Patrick co-founded Advanced Subsonics in 2002, now a world leader in small-scale flapping-wing flight. Patrick has worked on the engine-powered ornithopter since 1997, and was acting as chief field engineer during the aircraft’s first successful flight in 2006.

Riley Monsour


Riley Monsour is in his fourth year of studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto. He has been responsible for much of the early structural testing of ornithopter components and has been an integral member of the wing design team. Also, Riley has been involved with other clubs at the University; acting as paddling coach for the concrete canoe team in 2008 and master carpenter for Skule Nite 0T8. Currently, Riley is taking a year doing engineering work in Switzerland before returning to complete his studies.

Henry Dang


Henry Dang has been helping the team on the fundraising and sponsorship front for a year now, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the project. Henry graduated from the University of Toronto in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science, and has since spent time fundraising for charities such as the United Way.

Maxime Moussard


Maxime spent time with the project as an exchange student during the summer of 2007, based in the Energy Engineering program at the University of Poitiers in France. Maxime worked on a scale-model of the HPO used for configuration and stability studies, in addition to contributing primarily to the user interface to Todd Reichert's aero-structural optimizer.

Aurelie Laely


Aurelie spent time with the project as an exchange student during the summer of 2007, based in the Energy Engineering program at the University of Poitiers in France. Aurelie worked on determining the suitability of potential structural configurations of the HPO, calculating preliminary stability derivatives, and estimating the parasite drag of the aircraft.

Florian Cliquot


Florian spent time with the project as an exchange student during the summer of 2007, based in the Energy Engineering program at the University of Poitiers in France. Florian worked with Cameron Robertson on determining the structural efficiency and suitability of several different advanced-fibre composite sandwich and beam structures.

Christophe Boulnois


Christophe spent time with the project as an exchange student during the summer of 2007, based in the Energy Engineering program at the University of Poitiers in France. Christophe worked closely with Todd Reichert in developing and aero-structural optimizer currently used for the design of the HPO, as well as providing estimates of the characteristics of the aircraft's primary structural components.

Elena Stumm


A fourth-year aerospace engineering student at the University of Toronto, Elena Stumm has been with the human-powered ornithopter project since January 2008. Elena has been working with the simulator team to develop methods to monitor power output and construct a training mechanism to model flight conditions. Elena has also been involved with the University of Toronto CASI Student Branch as treasurer this past year.

Kyle Dyroff


Originally from Wilmington, DE, Kyle Dyroff is a fourth-year aerospace engineering student at the University of Toronto. Kyle’s current involvement with the human-powered ornithopter project is focused around electronics for controls and stability. In June of this year, Kyle headed to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for a summer research position. He plans to return to the HPO project in the Fall, once his research is complete.

Laura Bradbury


Laura Bradbury is entering her fourth year of studies in aerospace engineering at the University of Toronto. She has been instrumental to the human powered ornithopter project by constructing a foam slicer for ribs and developing a method for attaching the wing skin. Laura is also an executive member of the University of Toronto Space Design Contest and vice-chair of the F!rosh engineering orientation. In the coming year Laura will be completing her undergraduate studies.

Tatiana Chiesa


Tatiana Chiesa is a graduate of aerospace engineering at the University of Toronto. Through her work with the human-powered ornithopter project, Tatiana has developed a keen interest in composite materials and structures composed of them. Tatiana has been leading the mould construction for the fuselage fairing. Also, she has created computational tools to find the structural properties of the body components. Her undergraduate thesis work entailed developing a structural modelling program to aid in aircraft design for the HPO.

Rafik Chekiri


Rafik is fourth-year Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Toronto. He has been with HPO project since January 2008 and has contributed in the areas of design and analysis on the computer of structural joints. Rafik has also been working on the drive mechanisms and components including transmission and drive wires of the HPO. He plans to do his fourth-year thesis on in-flight attributes of highly flexible aircraft.

Taylor Martin


Taylor is a masters student in mechanical engineering at University of Toronto. He was drawn to the idea of the HPO by his interest in composite materials. During his undergraduate years he became the first Team Manager of the human-powered vehicle design team at the University of Toronto. His interests have since led him to design and build a fully composite gondola for the Spider balloon-telescope as part of his masters program.